Feds Say 70% Of IT Systems Now Secure

A White House report that says E-government is maturing also says government's ability to secure IT systems and measure IT performance is improving.
E-government at the federal level is showing results, such as 70% of federal IT systems now considered secure and 72% of major departments now measuring performance of IT investments, says a just-released report titled Expanding E-Government: Partnering For A Results-Oriented Government.

The report concludes that E-government is evolving into a structure in which more government IT groups are working with the goal of delivering measurable ongoing service rather than a develop-and-implement mind-set. The nine-page report comes from the White House Office of E-Government and IT, headed by administrator Karen Evans.

The office touts progress this past year in managing IT resources, saying 70% of the federal government's IT systems are secure; 72% of 26 major departments and agencies have mechanisms in place to validate the performance of their IT investments relative to cost, schedule, and performance goals; and about half of those agencies meet at least 90% of their cost and schedule goals.

Among goals for the coming year, according to the report:

• Have 75% of agencies make business cases for all their IT systems that have clearly defined visions and outcomes in which benefits far outweigh costs.

• Have at least half of agencies manage their IT portfolios in accordance with the "earned value management" standard, which furnishes an operational analysis of cost and schedule overruns. Performance shortfalls should average less than 10% for an agency's IT portfolio.

• Have 90% of all IT systems properly certified and accredited as secure, including receiving verification of the effectiveness of each agency's IT security remediation process from the respective agency's inspector general.

• Have no skills gap in the IT workforces at half of the major agencies. The CIO Council will develop guidelines for assisting department and agency CIOs in identifying the skills gaps in their workforces. Agencies will be directed to develop and implement plans to close these gaps.

Another goal: developing common solutions for government services. The CIO Council, according to the report, will provide recommendations for funding, enhancements, and dispute resolution.

Success will be determined by agency adoption and citizens' use of E-government systems, the report says. As the federal government identifies new E-gov opportunities, the federal enterprise architecture framework will guide the links between systems and the reuse of data and applications where appropriate. Says the report: "This service-oriented architecture approach will ensure that future government IT investments will leverage existing capabilities to their maximum potential and will provide the most efficient and customer-centered services."

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